Environmental Management in Agriculture : An expert system approach
Skinner, John A.
The development of quantitative measures for self-assessment of the environmental performance of farming enterprises is described. A rule-based expert system approach is adopted based on well established sources of guidance. Value judgements are introduced as configurable coefficients. The system derives a compound performance indicator S which can provide the basis for inter- or intra-farm comparisons and also provides an objective criterion on which the concept of continuing environmental performance can be judged. This method can also be used to provide an empirical check on environmental sustainability. The evaluations within the system are based on whether actions have, on balance, the potential to result in net environmental harm or benefit. The role of such evaluations within an integrated decision support framework is discussed